1. The government spent a lot of time to help make this land better.

2. He spent great efforts to help me.

3. You don't have to spend a lot to be fashionable.

4. The company spends a large sum of money to make advertisements every year.

5. If we save our natural resources, we will have to spend a lot of money to find something to replace them.

6. If we want to protect people's health, we must spend government money to control pollution.

All the above sentences are quoted from A Dictionary of Answers to Common Questions in English, by Zhao Zhencai, a Chinese professor of English.

Are the quoted sentences really acceptable? Can we really say "spend money/time to do sth"?
TeoAre the quoted sentences really acceptable? Can we really say "spend money/time to do sth"?
Yes, if you're telling the purpose, but there is also the pattern with the -ing words. spend money/time ---ing.
If you are saying what the money or time was spent on, i.e., the activities engaged in, use the -ing form.
If you are telling why the money or time was spent, i.e., the purpose for the spending, use the infinitive form.
In some cases you can interpret the thought as both the activity and the purpose, so either one can be used.
We spent a lot of money advertising last year. (We spent a lot of money in the course of doing advertising activities.)
We spent a lot of money (in order) to advertise last year. (We spent a lot of money for the purpose of doing advertising.)
I would not use spend with efforts. I would use expend.
He expended a great deal of effort [to help me / helping me].
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
I spent three thousand dollars ___ the skirt. (A) buy (B) to buy (C) bought (D) buying

The answer is option D. Is option B also acceptable?
It is to me!
Well, it's not acceptable to spend three grand on a skirt, but grammartically, I have no problem with that.
It's a test question in Taiwan. 1 US dollar is about 40 NT (New Taiwan) dollars.
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
(I followed the link Sitifan/Teo provided in another forum to this thread)

> "I spent one hundred(*1) dollars to buy the skirt."

How about saying it as a stand-alone sentence?

Someone said this sentence sounded like there's more to it and the listener would want to ask "... and?". (I must admit, I'd feel the same if the person didn't say anything further).

Sitifan's response to the said statement was "Native speakers of American English don't think so." (but I didn't see anyone in this thread say so. Maybe sitifan saw it in another place?)


(*1) Today's exchange rate: 1 USD = 33.5324 Taiwan Dollars
3000/33.5 = 89.55, and I made it 100.

To most of the students in Taiwan, 3000 Taiwan dollars for a skirt isn't considered cheap.
I'm not sure what you mean about a stand-alone sentence. We don't speak in a vaccuum.

Sometimes things don't work by themselves as a complete sentence, like using the past perfect without a subsequent action. (I had eaten dinner.)

Given the right context, all sorts of improbably sentences become possible.

This sentence doesn't require an improbably context.

I spill coffee on my new skirt. I say sadly, "Darn it. I spent $100 to buy this skirt." Is it the most natural sentence in the world? No. "Darn it, I spent $100 on the skirt." or "Darn it, it took my last hundred bucks to buy this skirt." But I really don't find anything wrong with the sentence as it is.

It's always tough to answer questions on "is this correct." Often, it's correct. There may be more common or more natural ways of saying it, but it's still correct.

Perhaps other native speakers will disagree with me, but if someone said "I spent $100 to buy that X" I would not find it so odd that I would notice, even though "I spent $100 on that X" is a bit more natural.
but if someone said "I spent $100 to buy that X" I would not find it so odd that I would notice
This is good enough for me. Thanks.

Maybe my last post sounds like I was questioning your answer. No. My post wasn't directed to you per se. For the test question sitifan provided, I'd choose "to buy" as well, because the sentence is perfectly fine (especially with the right context).

My question was referring to this particular sentence's usage in general and I was asking help from all the native speakers (or American English speakers because that's what sitifan claimed)

I understand it all depends on the (right) contexts, but I actually learned this "stand-alone" terminology from another thread on this website (One of the native speakers said something like "it doesn't sound right to me if it's a stand-alone sentence") I guess it's not universal.

So when I said "stand-alone", I meant, say, a friend of mine got in, showed me a skirt and said "I spent one hundred dollars to buy the skirt". Under this context, I'd expect she'd go on and tell me "why"(or something else that would explain the purpose of her buying it).

I'm not trying to get a correct or incorrect answer--I live in the US and I don't need to prep for an English test. Still, I'm not a native speaker so when I hear something that sounds a bit off to me, I'd like to know if it's really off or it's just me. I'm into English usage, that's all.

The bottom line is you don't find it odd, so it won't make any sense for me to say the otherwise. Now I know it's really just me.
Site Hint: Check out our list of pronunciation videos.


BarbaraPA but grammartically, I have no problem with that.